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Author: Lois Johnson Rew

Illustrator: Avis Johnson Thomas

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Publisher: Green Leaf Press, Inc.,

Material: paperback

Summary: Alice and her Swedish-American family live on a farm near Rockford, Illinois. During summer harvest, Alice (6 years old) contracts a fever which the family doctor diagnoses as infantile paralysis (Polio). The prognosis is that she will never walk again. This is the story of how the family coped with the disease and how their belief in miracles was rewarded. This is a chapter book for the whole family.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 9 to 12

Reading Level: 5

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: This book is very real and touching. The simple illustrations that showed what was going on in the story added to the historical content of the novel; I really liked the detailed sketches. This book is very easy to read, and I would recommend it to my friends. Older teens may get bored since the story is not particularly original or complicated. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the simplicity and the message of the story. There were also lots of neat descriptions and plays on words, which I also liked.

Adult Reader Reaction: You won’t find a more wholesome story or enjoyable read anywhere. The premise is believable, the characters are engaging, and the plot is not contrived.

Pros: This is a flawless piece of work. It is a great human interest story. This work is a candidate for a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! If you have kids or have friends who have kids, buy this book. You won’t find a more wholesome story or enjoyable read anywhere. The premise is believable, the characters are engaging, and the plot is not contrived.


Educational Themes: It presents opportunities to explore why tragedies happen to children; the fears and frustrations victims experience; the sacrifices families are required to make; and, the power of hope and a positive attitude in dealing with tragedies.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, health, illness, middle grade, 1940s

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2006

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